Hyderabad Tourist Attractions

Hyderabad is the capital city of the state of Andhra Pradesh. With a population of more than 6 million people, it is recognized for the rich history, culture and architecture.

Mecca Masjid

Mecca Masjid is one of the largest mosques in the world and one of the oldest in India. The foundation of the mosque was laid in 1614 during Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah's reign. When the foundation stone was being laid, Muhammad Qutub Shah invited the religious elders and announced that one who had never missed his prayers would lay the foundation stone. No one came forward; therefore Sultan Muhammad laid the stone for he had never missed a prayer since the age of 12. It took almost 80 years for completion and is said to accommodate 10,000 worshippers.
Enormous arches and pillars made from single slabs of black granite were quarried and then dragged to the location by 1,400 young bulls. Several bricks above the central gate are from Mecca, thus the name of the mosque!
Through the main gateway of Mecca Masjid is a huge plaza with a large man-made pond. There is a legend regarding the seats surrounding the pond - any visitor who sits on one of these seats will definitely return to Hyderabad.
One of the rooms in the courtyard of Mecca Masjid is presumed to house the hair of Prophet Mohammed. Other notable features include inscriptions from the Quran above many of the arches and doors, fifteen arches supporting the roof of the main hall, cornices run around the entire mosque structure and the floral motifs and friezes over the arches.

Charminar

The principal landmark in Hyderabad is Charminar, built in 1591 to commemorate the end of a plague epidemic. The Charminar is a structure of four columns with corner minarets and a small Hindu shrine. Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah built the structure after he had shifted his capital from Golkonda.
The Hindu shrine is located on the second floor of the Charminar and it is the oldest in Hyderabad. The spiral staircase leads up to the columns offering views of the city.
Each side of the Charminar opens into a plaza through giant arches. The arches face North, South, East and West. The first floor was used as a college during the Qutub Shahi period and now offers spectacular views of the city from the balconies. The roof of the Charminar can be visited with special permission from the Archeological Survey of India.
This beautiful monument is constructed with granite, lime, mortar and marble.

Salar Jung Museum

The collection housed in Salar Jung Museum is said to be the largest single collection of antiques in the world. The 35,000 piece collection was assembled by Mir Yusaf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III.
Salar Jung Museum features exhibits from all over the world including European paintings and sculpture, most famously the "Veiled Rebecca" by Italian sculptor Giovanni Maria Benzoni, as well as Chinese and Japanese pieces. Other items of note are textiles, swords, glass, Indian miniatures, jade, ivory, devotional objects, illuminated manuscripts and over 50,000 books.
Several extraordinary displays are the dressing table that belonged to Marie-Antoinette, and daggers belonging to Queen Noor Jahan and the Emperors Jahangir.
The Salar Jung Museum has been declared an Institution of National Importance by the Indian Parliament. This is an attraction that should not be missed when visiting Hyderabad!

Golconda Fort

Portions of the Golconda Fort date from the 13th C but the majority was added in the 16th C. Although much of the fort is in ruins, the outer walls have semi circular bastions and some are still mounted with cannons. Golconda Fort also features eight gateways, four drawbridges, numerous royal apartments and halls, temples, mosques, magazines, and stables.
The Golconda Fort epitomizes the opulent culture of the time and the scale, complexity and military might are still so obvious. This immense fortress was built on a granite hill, surrounded by ramparts of large masonry blocks. The main gates were studded with iron spikes as a way of obstructing war elephants from entering. A reliable water system was also set in place with concealed earthen pipes.
The fortress city of Golconda became famous for its diamond market and the vault that contained the coveted Kohinoor diamond.
The tombs of the Qutub Shahi kings lie north of the outer wall of Golconda. The tombs are located in a landscaped garden. Some of the mausoleums and other structures have beautifully carved stonework.
The Golconda Fort is also the sight of a unique narrated Sound and Light Show that takes spectators back to a time when Golconda was full of life!

Ramoji Film City

Ramoji Film City is both a tourist attraction and major film-making facility. Film City has a variety of movie sets laid out on over 2,000ac of land with hills and lakes.
Filmmakers enjoy the options that Film City offers from the 50 studio floors, outdoor locations and wealth of technology.
Tourists can enjoy a guided tour of this vast complex that include exotic gardens, outdoor sets, studio floors, technology labs, a digital film facility, hospitality centers, props and period costumes, a variety of equipment and gadgetry for the film-maker.
The garden are designed to be in full bloom throughout the year and range from a formal French gardens or spring in England to the wilds of Africa. The outdoor sets feature churches, mosques and temples, an airport terminal, railway station, shopping plazas, palace interiors, chateaus, rural complexes, urban dwellings, and a winding highway.
The tour winds up with a Wild West song and dance performance.

Laad Bazaar

The renowned Laad Bazaar is a shopper's paradise famous for everything from perfumes, fabrics, jewelry, and musical instruments to household items. Visitors to the Laad Bazaar can watch artists at work as they create bidri (inlaid silverware), large pots and musical instruments.
A vast array of stores in Laad Bazaar sell bangles, saris, wedding clothes and items that are targeted to women. Some of the shops form the center of India's pearl trade, cultured pearls are graded and strung out for shoppers to view.
This area of the Charminar is only accessible to pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles and scooters.

Birla Mandir Temple and Planetarium

Birla Mandir, constructed of white marble, overlooks the Tank Bund from its location on Kalabahad (Black Mountain). The location offers an excellent view of the city and the Birla Mandir is an amazing sight when illuminated in the evening.
The architectural style combines North and South India temple design. The carved tower at the base is distinctive to southern Indian temples and the smoth dome is very much northern Indian style. Complex carvings can be found in the temple, on the ceiling and through the mythological figures found throughout.
The Birla Planetarium and Science Museum is adjacent to the Birla Mandir Temple. Exhibits at the Science Museum include science through the ages and some archeological displays. One of the wings features The Dinosorium with fossils and a mounted 160 million year old "Kotasaurus Yamanpalliensis".

Nagarjunakonda

Nagarjunakonda was discovered in 1926 by an archeologist, A.R. Saraswathi. A major excavation of Nagarjunakonda was carried out over a six-year period that uncovered a number of Buddhist monuments. The excavation of Nagarjunakonda was undertaken to recover as much as possible before the area was flooded for a massive hydroelectric project.
The ruins at Nagarjunakonda include temples, stupas, pillared pavilions and marble portrayals of the Buddha's life. Other prehistoric discoveries suggest humans inhabited the area around 200,000 years ago. Tools from Paleolithic and Neolithic times were uncovered.
The findings have been reassembled on an island in the middle of the dam.

Nagarjunakonda Museum

Designed in the model of Buddhist Vihara, the Nagarjunakonda Museum features relics from the excavation including Buddha statues, and carved stone slabs that once adorned stupas and depict the life of a buddha.
Boats launch from the banks of the Nagarajuna Sagar several times a day to travel to the island of Nagarjunakonda.
This is a popular tourist destination and weekends or holidays can be crowded.

AP State Museum

The A P State Museum has a large collection of stone and metal sculptures from ancient and medieval Andhra within five galleries. A portion of the exhibit features photographs and letters of Mahatma Gandhi. The exterior of the building is Indo-Saracenic architecture.
The galleries are a Buddhist gallery, Brahmanical & Jain gallery, Bronze gallery, Arms & Armour gallery, and Numismatics gallery.
There is also an art gallery adjacent to the AP Museum dedicated to Ajanta and Deccani painting that features works by contemporary artists as well.
Nearby is the Health Museum with its unusual collection of medical paraphernalia

Nehru Zoological Park

Nehru Zoological Park features over 3,000 animals as well as a nocturnal zoo, a Dinosaur park, a natural history museum, parks, a mini-train and animal rides. Nehru Zoo is perfect for a family outing and offers picnic facilities.
The animals at Nehru Zoological Park are kept in large open enclosures that resemble their natural habitat as closely as possible. The zoo has also successfully bred notable exotic and indigenous animals, and birds, such as the Indian rhino, Asiatic lion, tiger, panther, giraffe and gaur, and numerous deer and antelopes. Many of these animals have been distributed to various sanctuaries to restore the depleted animals.
Address: Bahadurpura, India

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